Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Casey Anthony Hearing: Day 4, Closing Arguments

Judge Belvin Perry has given himself a generous amount of time to make decisions on the motions to exclude Casey's statements to law enforcement and to her family. While we may be impatient to hear the decisions, Judge Perry is now doing what he knows best: he is making rulings that will be appeal-proof. He wants this trial heard once. He also has a formidable record when it comes to having his cases overturned. In his years as a judge, he has only had one-half of a verdict overturned on appeal. I'm sure he doesn't want to add a full case to his "loss" column. So, we will have to wait until the end of next week and we can rest assured he will make the fairest decisions possible, whether we like them or not.

We all know the testimony and the accusatory questions asked of the police officers who testified. We can remember that none of the Anthony's came out and said that they were working as Agents of the State. George testified that he felt he had been "duped" by the police into doing their bidding. Even so, he testified that his goal was to locate his granddaughter. Cindy Anthony said the same, she was looking for Caylee regardless of what the police were doing. Lee Anthony denied he was an Agent of the State; he was conducting his own investigation and freely sharing his information with the investigators. He wanted to solve the "problem".

If you were to go back to 2008 and look at the documents and voice mail messages left by Cindy Anthony, I think you will find that the family considered LE as Agents of the Anthony Family. There were so many instances of ranting about how LE wasn't doing their job in looking for Caylee. Cindy Anthony complained that the detectives on the case weren't keeping the family "in the loop" enough. They weren't giving the Anthony family everything they wanted to conduct their own investigation. Detectives Allen and Melich both testified that the family was constantly asking them to talk to Casey to get information from her. They stated that they couldn't, but the family could. They suggested ideas as to how it could have been done. It was clear back in 2008 that the Anthony's wanted LE to do their bidding. When they didn't, it was more rant and threats.

Mason was the first to speak on behalf of the defense. I have notes, but I am pretty much ignoring them since they are the same hot mess that his presentation was. Rather, I'm going to paint you a picture of Casey Anthony as portrayed by Mr. Mason by putting the various puzzle pieces of the early pieces of Mr. Mason's narrative together.

Concerning July 15 to 16, 2008, Cheney said that Casey was a young woman (later referred to as a girl) who was never Mirandized until her indictment October 14, 2008. All the statements made on these two days would need to be excluded because she hadn't been read her Miranda rights.

Her mother, Cindy, wanted her arrested. From that moment on Casey was under intense psychological pressure.

This 22 year old woman had no police record and had no contact whatsoever with law enforcement whatsoever, except that she had dated a policeman. She had "no awareness, no hard in the street kid, not somebody who had any idea of what's going on."

That evening, "at least four deputies arrived, all in full regalia, uniforms, badges, guns, cartridge belts, etc."

Those bits and pieces of information are what Cheney Mason wanted the judge to see of poor Casey. Take the previous four paragraphs and tell me where there are mis-statements or half-truths! It's sort of a "what's wrong with this picture" game.

Mason continued with his long, rambling speech, which I will not attempt to duplicate or summarize here. However, as he spoke, there were more "half-truths" and "misstatements".

She was briefly interviewed and then handcuffed and led out to deputy Acevedo's patrol car and put in the "cage" leaving her a prisoner. Then, she was driven around to Sawgrass. "with another deputy in full regalia, who followed in another car." The other deputy, Fletcher came up to Acevedo's car and interviewed her, again without Miranda about the "nanny scenario."

Mason then explained that Sgt. Hosey took her for a walk when she got back. (Nasty comment about Hosey here about his not remembering much other that the contents of that conversation.) At that point Casey was un-arrested.

At this point, Judge Perry interrupted Mason to ask when the handcuffs were removed. According to Mason, the record was unclear about that. However, Mason went back to the fact that even before she was handcuffed, she was in a psychological situation where her mother was yelling at her and the deputy was "holding" her to write a statement. (I suppose that Mason wanted to get across that she was psychologically handcuffed from the get-go.)

I'm leaving out any more snarky comments here because I do want to give you a chance to pick them out and comment on them for yourselves.

In essence, this was the body of Mason's argument. He also discussed the family members as being Agents of the State. It was a summation of the defense testimony presented with plenty of digs at the misbehavior of the detectives who ensnared the family into acting as Agents of the State.

There was some discussion of case law Mason had provided to the judge and it was the State's turn.

Linda Burdick (for sake of brevity, I will use the name she refers to herself by) responded with a detailed time line of the events. She calmly presented it and went on to argue the State's position on both the issues. Again, no details here, because we all heard or read about the testimony. I would like to include her time line, however, to help you in the "what's wrong with the picture" game that was Cheney Mason's presentation. Burdick, indeed started out by stating that there were fundamental disagreements with the facts which have been taken completely out of context and mixed up.

1. 911 Call: 8:28 PM (stolen vehicle)
2. Arrival of Cpl. Fletcher: 9:43 PM
3. Final 911 Call: Contemporaneous with last 911 call
4. Arrival of Dep. Acevedo: 9:52 PM

LE's main occupation was gathering information from the members of the Anthony family.

When Dep. Acevedo put Casey in her patrol car, she informed Casey she did not have to go with her. Casey went voluntarily to help identify the last place Caylee was seen.

5. Dep. Acevedo and Casey went to Sawgrass Apartments.

When Casey was returned to the home, she was free to do as she pleased.

6. Ryan Eberlin takes Casey's statement at 1:05 AM

The handcuffing incident When released, Casey was allowed to return to her house and even spent an hour alone in her room. (George Anthony keeps wagging his head "no" to everything at this point.)

By correcting Mason about the time line of events, Burdick shows the judge that her initial statement to LE (not the handwritten one) was made prior to the handcuffing and therefore should be admitted in trial. Between that and the 911 call, the Zanny story is there.

The remainder of the State's argument dealt with whether Casey was in custody during her trip to Universal and that there are rulings considering this. Burdick read a bit from Casey's phone call home after she was arrested, indicating that she had been arrested on an "effen whim". Casey, she stated, could clearly stand up for herself!

As far as the Agent of the State was concerned, Burdick just had to recap the testimony of the three Anthony family members. We will have to wait for Robyn Adams and Sylvia Hernandez until the defense has the opportunity to depose them.

Burdick continued on with her time line oriented presentation and went through, in exquisite detail the events of the evening.

I must also say that she cited some wonderful case law. In the two cases she cited in depth, it was clear to see that the situations in both were very parallel to the case here. It is in part 4 of the video.

This case is complicated because the fact is, it is difficult to say when Casey went from being a witness to the alleged kidnapping of her daughter by the so-called nanny to murder suspect. Cheney Mason made no differentiation between Casey's arrest for child abuse and lying to police and her murder indictment. If Mason were to be believed, Casey was a murder suspect the instant Cindy Anthony made her final 911 call.

In 2008, Jose Baez certainly signaled that it would eventually become a murder case when he refused to let Casey talk to anyone about finding her daughter, Caylee. He also indicated that Casey had her reasons and we would all understand at trial. It was then that I realized Caylee was no longer alive.

I look forward to hearing your responses to the "what's wrong with the picture" game!


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


Orlando Sentinel


Crim 304 said...

Possible scenarios in the What's Wrong with this Picture Game.
1.The mother of a missing child lies, unabashedly, to seasoned police detectives without flinching and Mr. Mason refers to her as a child. That's hutzpah.
2.The grieving grandparents testify that Det.Melich sequestered Ms Anthony in the bedroom. Is the word "sequestered" a usual part of the Anthonys verbal arsenal? I detect the deft hand of the defense here. Methinks, coaching.
3.Who is George Anthony really angry with? Himself?
4. Why does George Anthony feel that he can debate with the Judge?
5. Why would grieving grandparents who relentlessly contacted the police for help now turn on those very officers?
Is this case about Justice or Winning? I am trying to remain objective until all the facts are laid out in court, but IMO the pretrial motions are harbingers of things to come.

Anonymous said...

Mason's snide comment about Hosey's
memory is a hoot in light of his own selective memory regarding when the handcuffs were removed. Please! They all well heard 4-5 mintues! He sure as heck didn't want that reinforced by his own mouth. He's a joke; not a funny one. I'm starting to seriously question whether truth is important or just who plays the best game. What struck me Monday was the serious countenance of the detectives listening to the arguments. Their jobs are so difficult; it must be gut-wrenching listening to these lawyers second guessing their every utterance.

Anonymous said...

Why would Cheney Mason who has had a successful career reduce himself to lying? To call Casey a girl. Lie. To insinuate the cops intimidated her. Lie. To knowingly misstate the sequence of events and the details of them. Lies. He knew the facts of the events as well as LDB did. He sat in the court room and listened to testimony. Maybe his hearing aid was turned off and he was sleeping?

Anonymous said...

I am very frustrated at the fact that Mason tried to portray kc as if she had no idea as to what was going on, as far as law enforcement was concerned.
George has the security or law enforcement back ground, even experience. I've heard and read in statements the kc would say to george to "stop being a cop and be a father" on a several accounts. I believe the gas can incident was the lastime he had grilled her as a cop (according to kc). George wanted answers and has had the law enforcement back ground,so I don't want to hear Mason's LIES about how she had no idea what was going on.
Also, Lee spoke to her as if he were a police officer in the bedroom before LE had gotten there. Remember he gave her the senerio of what was going to take place when LE got there???

Anonymous said...

Yes, poor little Casey, just 110 pounds of an inexperienced girl up against big bad uniformed lawmen. Barf! Guess they've forgotten little Caylee up against a raging 110 pound mother desperatly seeking the wild life sans daughter.

FRG said...


Thank you so much from saving me to go back and hear CM blabbing away again! I prefer to be tortured just once! LOL

Jokes aside you are the best we can get from this case when it comes to the hearings! I say that because Val does the scientific reports and you the courtroom! We are so blessed to have you two! So thank you so much!

Well, what were detectives and LE officers to wear? Hello? CM is so naive if he believes he is selling case to the potential jurors as "defenseless petit woman"! Good Lord! It was a huge stretch when he referred to KC as a child! Alrighty then! You are right, CM was all over the place, I couldn't make a lot of sense but what the heck? It didn't come as a surprise, when did he make a lot of sense anyway! Whatever! I guess when it comes to defend KC you can't make any sense so they are grabbing at straws!

Ritanita, most of time CM was talking I was listening "spin, spin, blah, more spin, blah and girl"! W-H-A-T? *insert rolling eyes here* 

Mrs. Burdick, what else can I say? You gotta love her! She is so wonderful, it is so pleasant to hear when she is talking, she is very focussed, presents the case the way it is. If I were KC I would be pretty scared by now! Things are going to get worse from here! 

George has no credibility whatsoever, none! I believe he will be considered a hostile witness in trial which I don't know how it works but I am sure he will be combative! What was he disapproving Mrs. Burdick's closing arguments? How stupid can a person be to act like that in the courtroom? IIRC, he has had four lawyers, one would think his lawyer would have told him he "can't and shouldn't" act like a moron in the courtroom! It won't help his daughter! George should be mad at his daughter! Okay I am done with George! LOL

I can't point what's wrong with this picture all I know is that LE was behind 32 days for searching for Caylee, the Anthony's cleaned KC's car, KC gave false statements to LE, so there was not a good lead to find Caylee coming from her own mother. KC sold Caylee's photos/videos to ABC for $200,000 and this was before KC was indicted with murder, I am pretty much sure it was before, am i right? So, JB knew what it was coming her way. That's just wrong!

I am sure HHJP will take his time and will make the right decisions! 

Thanks Ritanita!    


ritanita said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I wish that I could have transcribed everything Linda Burdick said, but there was far too much. Listening to her is a pleasure and she makes her case clearly and in a logical order.

What I did find so ironic was that, after listening to Mason's version of events, Ms. Burdick came back with a detailed timeline which went from beginning to end. She summarized her case law so clearly that I could follow her without a problem.

I have to admit, I lost heart and ended the article before the ending of the hearing. Cheney Mason huffed and puffed his rambling response. He attacked Ms. Burdick for supposedly missing times, attacked LE, and started talking about some things and dropped it when he was reaching his conclusion. It was as though he expected the judge to understand all the information he put into a sort of "yadda yadda" ending.

His "good ole boy" act is wearing as thin as his "deaf" comments.

One good thing is that the defense is filing all these important motions and that alleviates many concerns about ineffective counsel issues.

FRG, I am so happy we have Val over at the Hinky Meter explaining the science for us. I am dreading the hearings at the end of the month. A good deal of it will go over my head, but with her tutoring, there's a chance I will be able to get the gist of the arguments.

Liz said...

Thanks Ritanita - a great analysis as usual.

Not a lot that Mr Mason said that hasn't been said before when a defense attorney has few facts to work with to his client's benefit.

Confusing the timeline could cause confusion to a jury - but if he knows Judge Perry as well as it appears - he will not confuse the good Judge.

It was pleasing to hear Ms Burdick advise that she had given copies of her case law to Ms Medina - last Friday (just noting that Mr Mason got that small fact incorrect as well)

I am wondering why the Judge brought up one particular case & asked for Mr Mason's opinion on same - he didn't request same from Ms Burdick.

Anonymous said...

Ritanita, I love your post. You do have a way of clearly stating
the facts. Thanks for picking the pearls out of the bushel of oysters.

Anonymous said...

While I've been very hard these past two plus years on the entire Anthony family, and Jose Baez, and of course Cheney Mason, it's my opinion for the first time Mason and Baez did their jobs as expected of defense attorneys. While I totally disagree with baez's line of questioning and his condescending sarcasm towards the police and detectives, the two of them are obviously doing what they can to keep out very damaging evidence against Casey Anthony. Which is what I've said all along, that the most damaging evidence a jury could hear, will come from Casey herself along with her family, mostly George and Cindy. It's my opinion, that once detective Melich arrived on the scene, it was clear to Casey Anthony that she was not under arrest or in any way being viewed as a suspect. Detective Melich questioned her as the mother of a "Missing" child, looking for any information that would assist in his finding Caylee and helping the family. The hour or so before detective Melich arrived Casey had been in her room and obviously not detained in any way. Everything Casey told detctive Melich I think will come into evidence, as Casey and her family were simply questioned just like anyone else who calls police to their home seeking the help of law enforcement. I think when the first officers arrived, they walked into a confusing situation. A family distraught, a chaotic atmosphere where the officers first had to separate everyone and calm everyone down. Cindy not getting the answers she wanted, knowing how Cindy can't keep her mouth shut and is controlling, was probably voicing her concern about Caylee, her being upset not getting any answers, and also saying she wanted Casey arrested as a ploy to scare her into giving more information about Caylee. It must have been crazy! Finally the rookie cop trying to please Cindy who was probably the most vocal that night, put Casey in cuffs for a moment to please Cindy and figure out the course of action. Then the officer in charge said, no we're not pursuing any stolen car scenario, un-cuff Casey, we're just going to deal with the issue of the missing child. This is where the officer in charge tried to get information from Casey, and was told Caylee is fine. This statement IS coming into evidence in my opinion. This statement was the first statement Casey made outside the presence of anyone who could overhear her, and Casey made her last attempt to minimize the situation and talk police into leaving. It's also important because it's after Casey herself admitted to a 911 operator that her daughter had been kidnapped! I'm not exactly sure what Judge Perry will rule during the time before Casey was cuffed? But after Casey was un-cuffed, it was clear to all involved she was NOT under arrest and everything she did and said after that point was willingly. The 911 calls are coming in, Casey's statements AFTER she was un-cuffed I think will come in, which makes her written statement not that important, since we have the audio taped interview with detective Melich which I believe will also come in. Judge Perry might rule in the defense's favor during the time Casey was in cuffs? But that time period isn't that important to the case anyway in my view. Even if Judge Perry doesn't allow Casey's first ride to Saw Grass in as evidence, he'll allow the trip with detective Melich in, and one trip to a vacant apartment is enough to egt the point across that Casey was lying. In fact I didn't even know about her trip to Saw Grass the first time until the hearing last week. So whether that comes in or not doesn't matter. And I think Judge Perry will feel the same way. Anyway, enough from me, I wanna go read your article, I'm curious as to what you think may happen?

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Greetings Ritanita.....I enjoy your analogy on these events....Mr Mason's job is to twist everything that is logical into a different perspective...He is failing at this though....It started back on Dec 12,2008...His "infamous" statement...also if He is going to keep referencing his blunders on his age the jury will have a hard time accepting anything he says...On a side note it was a sad day yesterday for the 9th Circuit with the untimely passing of Judge Conrad....but back to this case...I really believe that Judge Perry will deny the defense motion on Law Enforcement(I just don't see them doing anything unethical or illegal here)..I do see the Anthonys using LE to get to Casey to find out what happened to Caylee...they knew she was dead..but wanted to know how & who.>>>Linda Drane Burdick cleared the smoke from the room in about an hour. lol....Keep up the good work Ritanita.....from Florida

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to stop reading for a second and share this thought. I also was amused by Mason's description of "Poor Little Intimidated Casey" and her first time dealing with the police, and "Three Big Detectives with GUNS" on the 15th and 16th.
It strikes me that it's also Casey's first time on trial for murder, with a possible death sentence when all is said and done. And "Poor Little Intimidated Casey" facing DEATH for the first time, seems to be handling things quite well! Laughing, smiling, making smug faces, talking and writing, constantly fixing her appearance as she sits in court acting like one of the attorneys instead of the defendant. Casey seems to have NO problem at all dealing with facing death or a life term in prison, yet we're supposed to believe she was like a scared rabbit when she was lying to the "3 BIG Detectives with GUNS" in the 10x10 little room sticking to her story and not caving in! lmao After those 3 big guys with guns told her they know she's lying, and again asked, "Where is Caylee?" Scared Casey said AGAIN sticking to her story, "The Last Time I Saw My Daughter Was On The Steps Of That Apartment"
"She Was The Last Person I Saw With My Daughter."
If Casey was even half as intimidated as Mason wants everyone to believe, no way would she have been able to calmly stick to her story and be that defiant to their faces. And now she sits in court happy to be with her hero Baez always smiling and now even comforting Baez! Like she did the other day squeezing his thigh with affection because the detectives said they didn't like him! lmao I don't think Casey has ever felt intimidated once in her life! It's obvious that facing death doesn't seem to phase her, nor does Caylee's name being mentioned!

Just an observation :)

annals said...

Thanks for your work on this blog. I follow and enjoy it.

OK, what's wrong with this picture?

1) Her Mother Cindy wanted her arrested. From that moment on, Casey was under immense emotional pressure.

What a defendant's mother wants has NO bearing on arrest status and Miranda proceedures.

2) This 22 year old woman had no police record and had no contact with law enforcement, whatsoever, except that she had dated a policeman.

It'd have been more precise to have said; except that she had SERIALLY dated policemen.

3) She had "no awareness, no hard in the street kid"

Err, didn't she sext with one of those policemen she dated? Evidently, he was convinced of her "awareness" to the extent that he denied even knowing her and when the sexts were discovered by detectives; he LOST HIS JOB because of it.

4)"not somebody who had any idea of what's going on."

She was the only one who knew exactly what was going on. And she told lie after lie to keep it that way.

5) "at least four deputies arrived"

Exactly four deputies arrived.

ritanita said...

Bob, I agree that the defense is getting their act more together. I can't wait for the hearings at the end of the month to see Ashton vs. Sims.

I think Mason sees Casey as a damsel in distress who needs to be rescued from the big, bad people out to get her. Athough the defense will try at trial to exclude even more evidence, enough will come out to show Casey's callousness about her daughter.

Anonymous said...

The defense strategy will likely be to make the jury feel sorry for Casey "because the police tricked her." They will throw out some names and otherwise attempt to keep the jury from thinking of Caylee.

David In TN

kellygreen said...

Thanks for the update, Ritanita!

It’s almost as if the defense knows it will not win this battle. I wonder if their strategy is gee, before talking to police, “poor little intimidated Casey” hadn’t been introduced to her new best friend Miranda; consequently, it was perfectly acceptable, and legal, for Casey to lie to the cops. The defense has nothing in its arsenal. Perhaps, it’s hoping Judge Perry will allow them to use some sort of a justification—allowing Casey to lie to the cops; thus the jury can’t hold Casey’s lies against her.

donchais said...

Great job!


Anonymous said...

I think George is desperate to have some sort of "Hero Moment"(at least in his own mind) during the trial. I'll bet you he gets either kicked out of Court or pushes JP to declare him in contempt.

Several people commented at HinkyMeter that even after JP told the Courtroom to sit there respectfully during testimony, both Anthonys continued smacking their gum and at several points George would clearly mutter "Fucking Bullshit" at something someone said.

(Both Anthonys think "hysterics"="credibility")

Anonymous said...

AHHHH, now lets see here! The defense has planted the seed to possibly set up George. But to be honest the defense has a lot to play with with George Anthony. From his statements about June 16th and June 24th alone were obviously lies which inturn will be the defenses strategy to create doubt. Baez's line of questioning was fantasitic to say the least, he actually got George to say he'd so anything to save his daughter which will come back to bite his ass big time. That could mean anything, even possibly tampering with evidence etc, etc!! I've heard many ppl put down Baez however in my book he's doing what any defense lawyer would do. Again, look who his client is and what he has to play with , with that Anthony family

Anonymous said...

George is acting defensive because he's guilty of something plain and simple! Since day one this man has been changing his story. If anything LE should've investigated him more, hopefully they still have his car bugged and or his car. HE's the master of deception and I can understand why the man is not in LE anymore! I doubt he quit, it's probably yet another lie Cindy made up like she does with everyone else.

Ivys Grama said...

Ritanita how wonderfully simple you can make it...Thank You.
What's wrong with this picture?
Mr. Mason tried to lead the court to believe the inmate was a 'girl' being overwhelmed by HUGE law enforcement officers....when she was the 22 year old MOTHER of a missing toddler, whose previous view of authority showed us her obvious contempt for ANY kind of authority. Hardly 'childlike'.
Mr. Mason wanted us to know that the grandmother wanted the mother of the missing toddler arrested, but for the purposes of detaining her to find ANTHING that they could regarding the missing toddler. Obviously, the 'mother' was not coming forward with any information regarding the toddler, to the grandmother, and after listening to her disrespectfully, and condenscendingly speak to her parents, they knew that someone else had to get the information, that they never could.
And lastly, Mr. Mason wanted us to see the inmate as innocent of other police involvement, and had no 'experience' to pull from to understand the proceedings going on around her. Except that her father had been police, and in fact, the inmate had been known to tell him to "quit acting like a cop..." She had also intimate knowledge of the policeman she had dated and brought her daughter to for 'sleep-overs'.
I don't think that Mr. Mason has the passion needed to convince anyone of her 'innocence' in this portion. One would have to believe it oneself, and its pretty obvious that he doesn't.
Linda Drane Burdick on the otherhand DOES have the passion to convince the court, because she does believe herself, that the inmate is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the death of little miss Caylee. God Bless her.

cherylt9288 said...

Hi Sprocket!

I haven't been here in a long time but your site is still on my FAVs Bar. I'm so glad I clicked and say 2 things: Phil Spector hearing (UGH - please NOOO reversal!)

2) RE: your take on C. Anthony's closings (well, Mason's)...

You are DEAD ON w/ all that you said. I was also extremely impressed by the RECENT case law Linda found and they sure did have striking similarities to Casey's case. I sure hope (& I think he will) that the defense losts most, if not all their motions to suppress. What a load of carp!! I actually didn't get to see him live - Thank God, actually! I was able to FastFWD thru him as soon as I had enough of his "misrep" to say the least!!!

And isn't BAEZ the one getting paid to be the lead atty? Why the heck is HE not the one giving the closings!! Also, why did Mason get a 2nd bite at the apple and Linda didn't??

Anyone, thank you so MUCH for your CLEAR HEADED take on things!!!!! That "dream team" of hers is enough to drive just about anyone crazy! (As well as C.A's parent's as well!)

Take care!!

Sprocket said...

Thank you Cheryl,

I just want to give credit where credit is due. It's ritanita not me, who is providing T&T readers with the excellent, "easy to understand" analysis of the pretrial maneuverings in the Anthony case. It's the first place I go to get a detailed recap of the motions argued by both sides.

The start of this infamous trial is now only 2 months away!

How will the media handle it when you have on the LEFT COAST, Conrad Murray trial opening statements on the SAME DAY?

We will just have to wait and see!

Anonymous said...

I just heard all statements CA made to LE are coming in!!!
Way to go JP!